World's first subsea CT scanner launches at UTC


For the first time oil and gas operators are offered with the opportunity to scan from the outside, of any coated pipeline without process intervention for both flow assurance and integrity issues.

Tracerco’s ground breaking technology has resulted in a simple, low risk, rapid solution to gain information on flowlines including pipe-in-pipe and pipe bundle systems. Attendees at UTC in Norway were among the first to hear about this pioneering new game changing subsea diagnostic innovation.

Previewed at UTC (19-20 June), Discovery™ is the only product of its kind in the world: a CT scanner for flowlines. It scans pipelines from the outside to gain an accurate picture of the condition in the pipe and the flow, with no need to remove the protective coating, and with no interruption to production.

Discovery™ was developed in response to the operational needs of oil companies to detect hydrate restrictions and verify integrity in flowlines. There was a need to develop a high accuracy detection system that could inspect lines from the outside, online and without pipeline modification.

Tracerco cooperated with Statoil to develop detection technology with the primary goal of use in flow assurance applications; although the applications have since expanded to include integrity issues on a variety of subsea transportation functions. This new development is the latest in a history of over ten years’ cooperation between Tracerco and Statoil. Keijo Kinnari, Statoil Senior Specialist, Technology Excellence at Statoil commented:

“Tracerco’s cutting-edge technology finally fulfils the long awaited dream of having technology to help solve some of the most intriguing flow assurance challenges.”

Unlike alternative technologies such as ultrasonic and pulsed eddy current, Discovery™ is a more cost-effective way to provide operators assurance of the integrity of unpiggable coated pipelines as it eliminates the risk of corrosion of pipelines on removing and reapplying coating.

For the first time, Discovery™ provides a reliable method of diagnosing wall thinning of both pipes in pipes in pipe-in-pipe systems and flowlines with caissons, from the outside. TRACERCOTM Discovery provides a 360 degree, high resolution scan of pipeline contents and pipe wall thickness in real time, with defect resolution of 1-2mm.

Lee Robins, Head of Subsea Services at Tracerco, presented Discovery at UTC and spoke to delegates about hydrate plug detection. He said:

“Inspection of subsea pipelines is often a challenge where pigging is not an option or is deemed too risky. Before now, inspecting pipelines from the outside has often been difficult and/or too costly, but Discovery™ is a totally non-intrusive device that provides asset integrity and flow assurance information quickly and accurately.”

“We’re very excited about bringing this breakthrough technology to market. As well as exhibiting at other major global events this year, we will be running a series of roadshows across the UK, Brazil, Perth and Stavanger over the next 12 months.”

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